World Sleep Day is today, March 19. Yes, World Sleep Day is a thing, and while it may sound amusing at first glance, sleep is serious business. The day is organised by the World Sleep Society to raise awareness of sleep as a human privilege that is often compromised by the habits of modern life.
The annual event celebrates sleep and aims to be a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving. The World Sleep Society aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.
I’m sure we can all relate to being grumpy or less productive when our own sleep is compromised. I’m also sure our own General Practitioners - let alone our mothers - drum into us the importance of regular, and quality, sleep.
Blackmores has conducted new research which shows Aussies are stressing away their sleep with nearly a quarter (23%) of Australians contacting a medical health professional or going to a hospital in the last year because of stress. Almost three in four (72%) Aussies want to make a greater investment in their health in 2021, with nearly half (47%) saying they’re concerned their health is not where they want it to be.
If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, or if you’re time-limited and want to ensure your sleep time is more efficient, how do you do it?
Well, the answer is data. I'm a big believer in data. We know what gets measured gets improved. To quote W. Edwards Deming, the father of modern Quality Assurance, “In God we trust, all others must bring data.”
In comes the Withings Sleep Analyser. Withings (pronounced with-things) is a private French-based consumer electronics company with a global reach, specialising in medically-approved smart, connected health devices. This includes smart scales, blood pressure monitors, smartwatches, and, in this case, a Sleep Analyser.
The Sleep Analyser is dead simple to use. It is a small pad, about the width of a human, which you place under your mattress around where your chest lies. Plug it into a power point, connect the free Health Mate app to it, and that’s it. There’s no more set up to do, and the Health Mate app gently leads you through discovering the device via Bluetooth, connecting it to your Wi-Fi network, the initial calibration to detect your mattress thickness, and off you go!
The Withings Sleep Analyser was created in conjunction with sleep experts and is clinically validated for medical-grade analysis and sleep apnoea detection, all from the comfort of your own home, and by doing nothing more than sleeping as you normally do.
iTWire tested the Withings Sleep Analyser last night, and boy, do I need to work on my sleep!
Last night, I slept on top of the Withings Sleep Analyser and woke up to find the app had collected metrics during the night.
It told me I went to sleep late at 1:35 am and got out of bed at 7:45 am. My sleep was interrupted four times. That’s five hours and 40 minutes, with 57 minutes in deep sleep, one hour and 40 minutes in REM sleep, and three hours and three minutes in light sleep. The app gently advises going to sleep at an earlier time may aid in enjoying greater deep sleep.
Here are my metrics, as displayed by the app:
On one level, sure, that’s intuitive, but as before, what gets measured gets improved. Conversely, we cannot effectively improve what we are not measuring.
This gives me meaningful insights I can use for myself - or, if it came to it, share with a medical professional - and experiment with, track, and modify my own behaviours. I can consider environmental issues and actually use this data as the basis for proactive change, instead of merely chastising myself, “I should go to bed earlier.”
You can do this too; the Withings Sleep Analyser is remarkably effective, particularly for something which was so low-effort to set up. You can buy one yourself for $199 from JB Hi-Fi.
See it in action in this video: